NRL: Speed kills for Warriors believes prop Sam Lisone

2019-04-19 02:25:22

If the Warriors beat the Cowboys at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday, it won't be because they overpowered their opposition up front, but because they out maneuvered them.

There are a number of myths and cliches the Australian pundits like to throw at the Warriors every now and then.

They talk about how the Warriors can only play an unstructured game, even saying they play a 'coconut style' of footy, as Billy Moore said in 2015, making a pretty racist comment, which he later apologised for.

They also talked up Shaun Johnson to godlike levels, although those over there who saw the two blunders he made for the Sharks last weekend against the Roosters and the woeful first half against the Panthers on Thursday might be changing their tunes.

They also go on about the Warriors having massive forwards, that their props are fearsome, muscular giants. However, that's no longer the case and hasn't for a while.

Gone are big men from the past like Joe Jagana, Jerry Seuseu, Mark Tookey, Richard Villasanti, Russell Packer and Ben Matulino.

They've been replaced by smaller, lighter and more mobile props who may not bend the defensive line as much, but squeeze through it.

Of the four props playing against the Cowboys, Agnatius Paasi is the heaviest at 114kg, while Leeson Ah Mau and Bunty Afoa are three kilograms lighter and Sam Lisone is a slender 110kg.

None them are taller than 185cm either, but Lisone says size isn't what they're about.

"We're not all big like the Souths boys, they're all massive," Lisone said.

"But our key is that we're mobile. Some of our forwards are really fast and we just go off that, speed kills!"

The Cowboys' Jordan McLean is 117kg and 196cm, while Matt Scott and Scott Bolton are also big, with only Francis Molo smaller than the Warriors props.

In general though Lisone believes the way the game is going is for the downsizing of props.

"If you just look at the game, it's changing," the 25-year-old Lisone said.

"It's gone away from the big, muscle game.

"It's all about quick play the balls, who can get the speed wins the ground. That's where the game has moved to, so you need lighter and smaller forwards.

"Look at Jazz Tevaga, he plays in the middle and he's only 94kgs. But you can see he moves around really good.

"That's where the game is moving to, so I reckon the lighter you are, the better."

Lisone, who was suspended for the games against the Sea Eagles and Titans, was part of a forward pack that went well against the Rabbitohs on the Sunshine Coast last weekend and it's heartening for Warriors fans to see the team do well up the middle again.

"That was probably one of the best games this season from our middles," Lisone said of the Rabbitohs game.

"We've got to go off that, that will be the benchmark and we've got to go to another level."

The Cowboys will be missing Jason Taumalolo on Saturday, with the Tongan international still out with a knee injury.

They come to Auckland on a four-game losing streak and have been a shadow of the dominant team they were during Johnathan Thurston's prime.

However, they still have talented players and while the Warriors should win, no one's expecting it to be easy and they do have Bolton available for the first time this season.

Bolton was suspended for the first five weeks and fined five per-cent of his salary after pleading guilty in January to common assault involving a woman.

"It's going to be a pretty tough game, they've obviously got a lot of experience in their forward pack and Scott Bolton's back this week," Lisone said.

"He's been having a tough time up there, so he'll want to put it on for them.

"They're coming from a long way to be here and I'm sure they won't come to muck around.

"They'll be bringing their A-game and we'll have to match that."


Warriors v Cowboys Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland Kick off: Saturday, 7.30pm

Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, David Fusitu'a, Peta Hiku, Solomone Kata, Ken Maumalo, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Blake Green, Agnatius Paasi, Issac Luke, Leeson Ah Mau, Adam Blair, Tohu Harris, Lachlan Burr. Interchange (from): Jazz Tevaga, Sam Lisone, Bunty Afoa, Isaiah Papali'i, Nathaniel Roache, Leivaha Pulu, Gerard Beale, Patrick Herbert.

Cowboys: Te Maire Martin, Justin O'Neill, Jordan Kahu, Enari Tuala, Benjamin Hampton, Jake Clifford, Michael Morgan, Matt Scott, Jake Granville, Jordan McLean, Gavin Cooper, Josh McGuire, John Asiata. Interchange (from): Kurt Baptise, Coen Hess, Scott Bolton, Francis Molo, Corey Jensen, Javid Bowen, Shane Wright, MItchell Dunn.

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